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Is tokenizing humans the future of Russia’s economy?

As of this article’s publishing, 41 crypto investors had bought a piece of the Russian entrepreneur, Boris Akimov, for the total sum of 0,09 BTC ($869)

Mar 15, 2018
The ambitious Russian entrepreneur, Boris Akimov, has turned himself into an asset by selling his time in the form of tokens. Is personal tokenization a viable business opportunity, or is it simply a promotional gimmick by Akimov for his online farm-to-table service?

Until recently, Akimov was known to most Russians as the founder of the online retail project, LavkaLavka, which links farmers to households. Recently, however, he decided to raise funds from the crypto community. In February, the ambitious and eco-friendly entrepreneur raised around $16 million in an ICO (Initial Coin Offering).

Soon after, Akimov announced the tokenization of two days a week of his personal time, or 12 million seconds. Thus, he created 12 million tokens called 'BorisAkimov,' each of which can be redeemed for one second of his time.

"I have certain skills, knowledge and experience, as well as the time in which I apply them," Akimov said. "Token owners can receive the benefits of this experience for a period of time, depending on how many tokens they have. The more competent my work, the higher the demand for my skills and knowledge, and the higher the value of the tokens… This 'free market' approach to my own abilities is very appealing, and represents one of the great strengths of blockchains and cryptocurrencies."

Moscow-based investor Arkady Moreynis, founder of Darkside.vc, recently supported Akimov’s idea in his Telegram channel. "We invest in people, not ideas," Moreynis said. "Ideas can change, but people cannot."

According to Moreynis, however, there are many risks involved. To ensure the effectiveness of this plan, investors should control all of a tokenized person's cash flows, including accounts in different banks, shares in different companies and jurisdictions. "We should have a simple procedure for approving dividend payments, litigation and forcing payments in the event of default," Moreynis said.

Other members of the crypto community are more sceptical. "In my opinion, Akimov is trying to draw attention to his main project, which is the farm service," said Andrey Grachev, founder of Chypsis Holding.

"Can tokenization become a trend? I don't think so. While storing data in blockchain on the 'effectiveness' of a human’s life, such as health, education, and etc. is efficient, buying tokens for the individual's competencies is no different from a salary or freelance wages."

Alexander Shevtsov, the head of Jury.Online, told Russia Beyond that Akimov's idea is ridiculous. "There is no information about how he is going to 'work out' his time," said Shevtsov, adding that crypto exchanges won’t be listing the BorisAkimov token.

"This is an absolute lack of understanding of economic processes: the free time of any person has no price," Shevtsov added. He also reminded that time, just like everything else in the world, is a relative concept and not an absolute one.

The BorisAkimov token went live on the Waves platform on Feb. 20. As of this article's publishing, 41 crypto investors had bought a piece of the Russian entrepreneur for the total sum of 0,09 BTC ($869).